The Local Government Act 2000 changed the way Councils make decisions. The Act required local government to replace the traditional committee system of decision making with new 'Executive' style political management structures.
The council operates a Cabinet system, which is responsible for making most of the council's decisions. Important issues, such as setting the council budget, are still made by the Full Council, while other day-to-day decisions are delegated to senior officers.
The council has established 4 scrutiny committees, which collectively oversee the 10 cabinet portfolios and are aligned with the themes of the Community Strategy as follows:
The Police and Justice Act 2006 requires local authorities in England and Wales to establish a Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee, this came into effect in Wales on 1 October 2009. The council decided to nominate the Policy and Resources Scrutiny Committee as the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee. There will be two meetings per annum to consider crime and disorder matters.
Role of Scrutiny Committee
Each scrutiny committee is made up of 16 councillors and has a statutory 'watchdog' role to ensure that the council carries out its responsibilities properly and, where necessary, are accountable for their actions.
Scrutiny committees have 4 main roles:
- Holding the cabinet and officers as decision-makers to account
- Undertaking reviews of council services and policies
- Undertaking reviews to develop council services and policies
- Considering any other matter that affect the county borough
In undertaking these roles scrutiny committees:
- Meet on a 6 weekly cycle
- Can 'call-in' decisions made by the Cabinet and officers
- Establish Task and Finish Groups to undertake reviews and develop council services and policies or, any other matter that affects the county borough
- Seek advice from key stakeholders and partners such as business, voluntary and public sector organisations, trades unions, special interest groups, local communities and individual members of the public.
Scrutiny committees cannot:
- Make decisions on behalf of the council
- Scrutinise specific decisions of the Planning Committee, Licensing Committee and Rights of Way Committee that have quasi-judicial decision-making responsibilities
- Deal with individual queries, concerns, or complaints. If you are not satisfied with a service or have a complaint, please contact the relevant officer responsible for that service area. However, if you are not able to resolve the query then either please contact Customer Services or use the council's corporate complaints procedure.